Playoffs? Now that Manziel’s in, let’s dig into the NFL Draft

Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles & Sammy Watkins — expect all of them to hear their names called early in Round 1.

L-R: Joe Robbins, Stacy Revere, Streeter Lecka

Less than a week remains until we hit the deadline for players to declare early for the NFL Draft. And while there is plenty of time between now and Jan. 15 for somebody to make waves, the biggest splash has been made with Johnny Manziel’s Wednesday declaration that he is indeed headed for the NFL Draft.

So with the four months to go before we even get to the draft — and the Super Bowl still a month away — why not take a look at who’s available (and who’s going high) when the Roger Goodell starts calling names May 5 in New York City.

First, the four biggest names to enter the draft are:

• Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

• Blake Bortles, QB, UCF


• Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

• Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

The four of them share something else in common: They all ended their collegiate careers with a hell of a finale, whetting the appetite of NFL scouts just that much more.

Manziel is the clear headliner of the group, but is he more style than substance? In two seasons he put up one of college football’s great careers. But will he win in the NFL or flame out?

FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt knows where Manziel should go.

And one former college gunslinger thinks he should go No. 1.

But for others, the choice isn’t so obvious.

If your team’s not picking in the top five, here are all of the players who have left school early for the NFL’s greener pastures thus far.

Even a Super Bowl MVP’s little brother from a no-name school is reportedly testing the pro waters a little early.

In terms of positions, QBs get the most love, but the deepest crop this year may be wide receiver. Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, USC’s Marqise Lee, Texas A&M’s Mike Lee and Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks lead a loaded field. So who’s the best?

In the market for a running back?

And you can never have enough mock drafts. So while this was done before names had been entered and withdrawn from the draft, rendering much of this moot, here’s a 2104 mock draft written in December 2013. You’ll still love it. And hey, you’ll see some of the names that stayed in school you’ll need to remember for 2015.